News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post: From Copenhagen PostLesbians and single women are likely to be granted the same rights to artificial insemination as heterosexual couples under parliament's planned revisions to legislation regulating the procedure, reported national daily Politiken on Thursday.According to legislation from 1997, doctors are forbidden from assisting lesbian or single women to get pregnant by artificial insemination.Many women have gotten around the ban by going abroad to have the procedure carried out or by going to clinics in Denmark run by midwives.The revamp of artificial insemination legislation, expected to be presented in parliament today, will permit doctors to carry out the procedure, but only at private clinics.Lesbians and single women will also have to pay for the procedure on their own. The Conservative party, the junior partner in the coalition government, has come out against the proposal, forcing the Liberal party to submit the change as a rider.Despite the split between the governing parties, the bill is expected to pass by a wide margin.'There is a majority in the parliament and a majority in the Liberal Party's own delegation,' said Jørgen Winther, Liberal Party health affairs spokesman.The Ethics Council has previously debated whether single women should be granted full access to artificial insemination.'The most important thing is that people are able to create a loving relationship. Families come in all forms, and we have no evidence to show that children of lesbian families are worse off,' said council president Dr. Ole Harting.Council member Kit Louise Strand disagreed: 'We're on our way towards legislating the man out of children's life.'Harting also pointed out that since lesbian and single women were already having artificial insemination carried out, the government should allow doctors to participate as a way to make sure it was done safely. Prior to 1997, lesbian and single women did have access to doctor-assisted artificial insemination.A majority in parliament at that time voted to change the legislation in order to ensure that children had both a mother and a father.'At a minimum, a child has a right to be created by a woman and a man - not a woman and a glob,' said Margrete Auken of the Socialist People's Party at that time.
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